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hi, im brandon. im 18 years old and a senior in high school. i started seeing my pyschologist  in early december of 2006. i got help as soon as i started feeling depressed. i have no idea as to what caused it, but things have become extremely different. over the past couple of years i didnt really talk to most of my friends as the feeling of depression got worse. i couldn't imagine HELL being any worse than the constant,feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and lonliness. not only this, i just couldnt focus in school and couldn't do anything right. back then, i had at least 20 panic attacks  every damn day. my last two years of high school pretty much sucked cause i almost failed english the second trimester, and the third trimester i failed algebra 2B and had to retake it next year. the last day of school i skipped public speaking class because i didnt wanna present in front of other people. looking back on all of my failures, i felt extremely ashamed of my high school experience. i found myself asking, why cant i just get through and enjoy my high school years like everyone else. by this point, you're probably thinking im being self-centered or selfish but all this, and more, is the absolute truth. anyway, i recently went to a psychiatrist and she prescribed 50mg of Zoloft. i was very keen to start the medication because i didnt wanna feel depressed anymore and i really thought it would work. the zoloft had its ups and downs. the side effects were kind of scary at first. a couple hours after i took the pill, my hands and legs started shaking alot. i had diarrea, a really bad headache, and felt extremely sleepy which really sucks cause i get up at 6am everydday for school. however, zoloft benefited me in a few ways. i didnt really feel anything after that point and i didnt really feel as depressed. currently, id say the depression is almost gone. after i took the pill for a few weeks, my feelings were completely numb. i didnt have anymore uncomforting thoughts or panic attacks, and i became more aware of the poeple around me. the biggest problem i discovered is that it doesn't do anything to help anxiety. i guess you could say it made it worse because i wasn't thinking of anything else but fear and i couldnt get my mind off of it. its like i let the anxiety do everything for me and i have no control over it. iv tried just about everything my doctor has told me to do. everyday, i thrust myself into social situations and always end up ******* it up or walking away. i cant stand the akwardness and unfamiliarity. whenever i have to work in a group or in a class, i get really nervous and i just dont know what to do or how to act. there's this girl in my class that i kind of wanna ask out, shes in my english class this trimester. we haven't talked in a couple years because iv just been so busy with myself and my own well-being trying to keep up. i dont want her to see me like this lonely guy who never talks. im pretty sure everyone else thinks this of me too. the problem is, i dont know how to talk to her or what to say. i get these really scary thoughts that im never going to get a girlfriend or be responsible enough to handle a relationship. i might just end up living alone so i can avoid the fear. im having a really hard time typing this knowing that other people will be reading it. but i need to tell somone else to get feedback on what i should do...i guess you could say im panicking for an answer. im thinking of increasing my zoloft dosage up to 100mg so maybe the fear would lessen and i could ask ashley out on a real date. i could feel comfortable again, like i used to. what should i do? any feeback would be great. thanks.                
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Avatar universal
I suffered my first panic attack about three years ago just after my 27th birthday. Before that, I was extremely active, social, involved with life, I never doubted my abilities, played sports in high school and college, etc.  After that first panic attack, I became totally debilitated and depressed; I was afraid of many situations and felt like I had lost my identity.  I was initially in denial about my problems until I sought help, and even then it took awhile for me to start 'recovering.'  I was put on Zoloft, and while at first it increased my anxiety, it ended up helping me about a month or so after I started taking it. Now, there is no 'magic pill' for depression or anxiety (I to was having over 10 panic attacks a day), but with the combination of talk therapy with a mental health professional and the medication, it slowly started to work.

I tell you this, because I felt the utter despair just like you and did not know what is going on.  You are doing some things right though.  You are working with your doctor about medication; DO NOT increase or decrease dosage without your doctor's advice. Also, have you found a good therapist to talk this over with?  For me, that is the most important step in dealing with this.  By understanding this panic/fear/anxiety/depression cycle you enable yourself to learn to cope and even thrive in this situation

I know you probably do not realize this now, but you sound pretty put together for someone that is 18, and you are trying to confront this which takes courage and persistence.  Also, remember we are shaped in times of challanges more than when things are going well. You will get through this and will and are becoming much more stronger than you can see right now.  I suggest you continue to use this forum because there are so many people that have been in you exact position and give great advice and care how you are doing.  If you have any more questions and/or concerns do not hesitate to ask as many as you want and please keep us posted.
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